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    The Pen And The Sword: Songs About Police Brutality

    Lyrics are poetry, but they are also a rare opportunity for Black artists to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences surrounding police brutality and criminal profiling. As tensions persist between marginalized communities and those who police them, well-informed and well-meaning lyricism can go a long way. Check out these songs about police brutality by brave artists who chose to speak their truth.

    1. Martial Art

    Run the Jewel’s song features a music video which uses dance to symbolize the seemingly never-ending struggle between Black people, specifically Black men, and the police. In addition to a stunningly controversial music video, this track has savagely political lyrics to match. “Liars and politicians, profiteers of the prisons/The forehead engravers, enslavers of men and women.”

    2. Remembering Friends

    This Latin-American rock song articulates universal concerns over state-sanctioned violence with introspective Spanish lyrics. “Los que deben proteger/Hacen lo pouesto/Matan inocentes!/Those that are supposed to protect/Do the opposite/They kill the innocent!” As well, the background instrumentals on this track are life affirming.

    3. All I Wanna Say

    This classic protest jam includes many overlooked lyrical gems. The King of Pop’s words reflect his love for the people. “I’m tired of bein’ the victim of hate.”

    Let us know what songs about police brutality get you the most riled up.


    1. Your intelligence shines through your writing.
      Excellent and diverse selection of videos.
      RIP Michael Jackson!
      How about some good old Public Enemy?!?
      “Harder Than You Think,” “911 Is A Joke,” “Fight The Power”

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